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Motorcycle Accidents: Increased Risk of Injury and Death

Motorcycle accidents are particularly damaging to the accident victim because of safety factors inherently absent from the motorcycle. Negligent driving (failing to follow applicable vehicle codes – see Top 4 CA Vehicle Code Violations Resulting in Injury Accidents) by other drivers (both personal and commercial – see Truck Accidents: Cause and Effects). Motorcyclists don’t enjoy the benefit of tons of steel protecting them during an accident, which is often-times not with another motorcycle, but with a much larger vehicle. Furthermore, a rider is always thrown from his bike in a serious collision. It is not uncommon for the rider to come into contact with road barriers, cement dividers, or other vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 72.3 motorcyclists are killed per 100,000 auto accidents (compared to only 13.10 deaths per 100,000 accidents involving only cars) and a motorcyclist is 35 times more likely to die in an auto accident than a passenger in a car. In 2006, there were 4,810 motorcycle deaths in the United States. Motorcycle accidents result for a number of reasons, many of which are similar to other auto accidents. But there are additional causes for motorcycle accidents that are not the fault of the motorcyclist, such as the failure of an automobile to see a rider before changing lanes. Accidents that result from the motorcyclist’s negligence include the rider swerving in between lanes\cars, trying to pass a car in the same lane as his own, and riding in a car or truck’s blind spot, effectively causing the motorcyclist to go unobserved before an accident occurs. Shockingly, in two-thirds of vehicular accidents involving a motorcycle, the at-fault vehicle violated the motorcyclists right of way. Risk of serious personal injury or death is decreased when the motorcycle rider turns on his/her headlights during daytime driving and wearS bright, vibrant clothing with reflectors to make themselves more visible to other drivers. While the use of a safety helmet is required under California law (and the use of which greatly decreases the risk of injury and death), motorcycle riders should also wear protective gloves, knee and elbow pads, goggles, boots and protective vests. Motorcycle riders should carry extensive uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (see Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage), and if they don’t have health insurance, should carry as much “med-pay” coverage as possible (see Med-Pay Coverage). If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact our motorcycle accident lawyer immediately for a free consultation.

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